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Thread: drinking water

  1. #1
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    Default drinking water

    On a ten day tip three people, how do you manage with drinking water.
    And how much would you need.
    I know some of the lochs are clean but not to drink.
    My bush craft is zero, will have to get some books.

    Top site all the best Alan

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    You have to figure a minimum of two liters per day per person. I boil lake water and run it through a coffee filter to remove the floaties but you can get filtration systems that are quicker.
    Lloyd

    Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug...


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    Here are some water filtration and purification systems. The type we use is about $30 now, and I don't see it among those listed. We only need to worry about giardia, so a filter does us fine, but if you have more complex needs - one of the purification systems would be your best bet.
    The perfect canoe -
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    On Loch Shiel I just boiled it and added a puri tab, if you mix it with cordial for drinking it tastes ok. that's probably the simplest
    Leone_blanco

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    I wouldn't have bothered with the puritab

    We just tend to boil it, although on river trips we take a 5gallon container and fill it when we can.
    'There is no wealth but life itself.'

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    I rely on boiling most of the time but I do tend to have afire at night so can boil plenty for the next day. I have and use an MSR Waterworks filter which is a great addition for when you have not the time to boil or to save fuel if you are boiling on a stove. I have one for sale in the classifieds but you can get them from most outdoor suppliers and there are a few other filters that will do pretty much as well.
    John

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    I've always boiled water for hot drinks and cooking, and pured any left into my water carrier. If I've put cold water into my water carrier I've used puritabs.

    Also, as far as possible I've tried to take water from a moving source - where it's a stream running over rocks for example - less likely to have any 'collection ' of nasties in it, I hope. I've often drunk straight out of streams if the water looks clear and is running over rocks.

    The Troughing Dormouse.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Troughing Dormouse View Post
    I've always boiled water for hot drinks and cooking, and pured any left into my water carrier. If I've put cold water into my water carrier I've used puritabs.

    Also, as far as possible I've tried to take water from a moving source - where it's a stream running over rocks for example - less likely to have any 'collection ' of nasties in it, I hope. I've often drunk straight out of streams if the water looks clear and is running over rocks.

    The Troughing Dormouse.
    In North America - you want to do just the opposite (RE: giardia). Streams are where you are most likely to come across giardia due to beaver lodges, deer drinking, etc. The center of a large lake would be the best place to take water if you don't mean to treat it.
    The perfect canoe -
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    Thanks for your replies, it looks like boiling comes out top.
    I like Lloyd's use of coffee filters you can get them easily.
    Plus Las247 puri tabs as back up.
    When I was a child living in Lochmaben Scotland I would drink from burns.
    And eat raw Swede borrowed from the farmers field.
    Its funny as you get older and wiser, you don't take chances.
    Thanks to all Alan
    Last edited by lochmaben; 10th-May-2007 at 08:47 PM.

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    All I do is boil non running water to use (but I rarely need this) and drink straight from fast running burns / streams whilst looking at any obvious signs upstream of polution.

    Problem with today is all the scare stories . The human race has made it 4million years without Health & Safety and Food Hygene Regulations but look at all the allergy / athsma problems in the recent decades since we have been putting all the chemicals in the food chain and water systems to make them "safe" and killing all the bugs, most of which do us good.

    In the 70's the most feared words in the english language were "atomic bomb", now it's "health & safety".
    Chris


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    Quote Originally Posted by pierre girard View Post
    In North America - you want to do just the opposite (RE: giardia). Streams are where you are most likely to come across giardia due to beaver lodges, deer drinking, etc. The center of a large lake would be the best place to take water if you don't mean to treat it.

    Gosh, never knew that! Thanks for the tips, PG

    The Troughing Dormouse

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    Quote Originally Posted by chrish View Post
    All I do is boil non running water to use (but I rarely need this) and drink straight from fast running burns / streams whilst looking at any obvious signs upstream of polution.

    Problem with today is all the scare stories . The human race has made it 4million years without Health & Safety and Food Hygene Regulations but look at all the allergy / athsma problems in the recent decades since we have been putting all the chemicals in the food chain and water systems to make them "safe" and killing all the bugs, most of which do us good.

    In the 70's the most feared words in the english language were "atomic bomb", now it's "health & safety".
    and i totally agree with you,a bit more exposure to nature for a lot of people would strengthen their constitution
    barry
    the things we do for love,paddle,paddle,then paddle some more

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    Default And overseas?

    Some very confident 'natural water' drinkers here!
    Have a good look at some drops of river water under a microscope sometime, and maybe you would not be quite so sure of some UK water. Maybe the salmon are returning in the rivers, and water quality is even getting better, but there can still be localised pollution nearly everywhere.
    However, in many other parts of the world, drink the water straight from river, stream or lake and you are in deadly trouble. The vast majority of the world's population are nowhere near a clean water supply. And millions die young as a result.
    Millbank bag to sieve out the detritus, followed by a serious rolling boil, and maybe iodine drops, then neutralising tablet. It makes sense for those you need to care for. Why take a risk?
    If you have ever suffered D&V from, say, a dodgy ice cube in a foreign restaurant, then you will take good care!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bembe View Post
    Some very confident 'natural water' drinkers here!
    Have a good look at some drops of river water under a microscope sometime, and maybe you would not be quite so sure of some UK water.
    I have been drinking water from mountain streams all my life in the UK and have never had a problem. In fact I consider the streams safer than the stuff I get out of the tap at home asuming you follow the usual rule of being above top wall and checking for a dead sheep around the corner. I will drink below top wall occasionally but with care - the further from the source you are the dodgier it gets.

    And yes, I have done the microscope bit as I'm a microbiologist by qualification - although I play wih computers for a living now. Showing someone a nice rotifer is a pretty good way to look at water differently although my main concern here would be chemical pollution.
    Happy paddling ,
    Rob.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Bembe View Post
    Some very confident 'natural water' drinkers here!
    Have a good look at some drops of river water under a microscope sometime, and maybe you would not be quite so sure of some UK water....
    I'd rather deal with natures bugs than human chemicals anyday. Check what goes into our "clean" tap water .
    Chris


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    Quote Originally Posted by Bembe View Post
    Some very confident 'natural water' drinkers here!
    One of whom is halfway through a course of antibiotics to kill off the helicobacter pylori that's made itself at home in his tummy.

    Lesson learned. Blase attitude dropped.
    Picture yourself in a boat on a river,

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    My 70 foot tape worm is particularly vicious and does not tolerate competition. He attacks and kills any other parasites so it makes for a symbiotic relationship. He is fond of vegetarian pizza, corned beef, and the occasional single malt so we get along famously.
    Lloyd

    Sometimes you're the windshield, sometimes you're the bug...


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    Quote Originally Posted by Grooveski View Post
    One of whom is halfway through a course of antibiotics to kill off the helicobacter pylori that's made itself at home in his tummy.

    Lesson learned. Blase attitude dropped.
    helicobacter pylori,was he a roman emperor
    barry
    the things we do for love,paddle,paddle,then paddle some more

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    I can't say I'd drink any of the water locally, (not withstanding most of it is the English Channel anyway).

    I'm with the general consensus here - it's less about the bugs, and more about the chemicals and agri run-off. A good rolling boil will kill most things I'd have thought, but it's not going to get that toxic heavy metal out of the water.

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    If the water is clean & clear and free of chemicals from industrial waste, sewage, etc. then a rolling boil should be enough.

    But I'm really inclined to finally plop down the $$$ for a good filter and be done with it. There is just too much in the water now that boiling won't eliminate (if anything it may concentrate the toxins as some of the water evaporates off during the boil).

    I have and use purification tabs and can force myself to drink the water if I need to.

    In my case, 3 or 4 liters a day is called for. It gets very hot here, so more may be necessary during the heat of the summer.

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    Having watched a friend come within a whisker of dying from bacterial dysentery (attributed to 're-bottled' water sold as fresh in the Red Sea), I always boil or use puritabs.

    I'm 100% with those who say that we are far too obsessed with health and safety these days and that we overuse anti-bacterial agents to our detriment, but my friends near miss was a sobering experience.

    Of course in a 'survival situation' I'd drink from any fast flowing clean looking stream (or a muddy puddle if desperate enough!), but I can't remember the last time I was in such a situation and didn't have time to stick a pan on the stove or chuck a tab in a sig bottle

    just my 2p

    Matt

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    Quote Originally Posted by MattW View Post
    Having watched a friend come within a whisker of dying from bacterial dysentery (attributed to 're-bottled' water sold as fresh in the Red Sea), I always boil or use puritabs.

    Matt
    If your in the wildy and take sick it would be very bad news.
    You are right Matt cant take a chance, I had a bad tum in Morocco.
    Not much fun, plus can you imaging trying to paddle with it.
    So lets boil the water, put in some puri tabs and then filter it.
    Thats the tap water sorted,
    Collect rain water in the canoe and bottle it.
    Sorted.
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    Alan

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    Got the dreaded lurgi in Nepal when my filter flask bust, luckily not too bad but a few days rushing to holes in the ground/ bushes for a few days.

    At work we're trying out a new device with a battery operated UV light which is reputed to do in everything - you'll find it at http://www.steripen.com/.

    Look at the "10,000 mile user article - warning extremely gross" article.

    No field trials yet - but it's away with a group this weekend.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alastair Seagroatt View Post
    Got the dreaded lurgi in Nepal when my filter flask bust, luckily not too bad but a few days rushing to holes in the ground/ bushes for a few days.

    At work we're trying out a new device with a battery operated UV light which is reputed to do in everything - you'll find it at http://www.steripen.com/.

    Look at the "10,000 mile user article - warning extremely gross" article.

    No field trials yet - but it's away with a group this weekend.
    Alastair I had a look at the steripen website it looks like just what we need.
    Let me know how it work out for you.
    Best solution yet.
    thanks Alan.
    Last edited by lochmaben; 13th-May-2007 at 04:50 PM.

  25. #25
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    the steripen looks good, even better with the solar recharger, but I believe the water has to be pretty clear so the light can penetrate.

  26. #26

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    [quote=gwing;42129]I have been drinking water from mountain streams all my life in the UK and have never had a problem. In fact I consider the streams safer than the stuff I get out of the tap at home asuming you follow the usual rule of being above top wall and checking for a dead sheep around the corner. I will drink below top wall occasionally but with care - the further from the source you are the dodgier it gets.

    I have too agree, I've been enjoying 'pure mountain streams' for 30 odd years, but then I have the privilege of living in Scotland where mountain water is probably the safest in the world - and definitely better than the chemical cocktail out the tap.

    I have been ill just once from drinking 'downstream' water so whenever I'm in doubt - river/lake/loch water - I simply boil.

    In far flung climes I'd probably take a serious filtration kit.


    Gil

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    My personal experience of Scotland is that you can drink stream water straight from the stream and loch water after boiling it. I've never been sick adhering to this in twenty years.
    Of course use your heid, this does not apply in built up areas but only in the wilds.

    Matt

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    Quote Originally Posted by chrish View Post
    All I do is boil non running water to use (but I rarely need this) and drink straight from fast running burns / streams whilst looking at any obvious signs upstream of polution.

    Problem with today is all the scare stories . The human race has made it 4million years without Health & Safety and Food Hygene Regulations but look at all the allergy / athsma problems in the recent decades since we have been putting all the chemicals in the food chain and water systems to make them "safe" and killing all the bugs, most of which do us good.

    In the 70's the most feared words in the english language were "atomic bomb", now it's "health & safety".
    I'd second that.

    Tried puritabs about 30 years ago never again.

    I used to teach students that if there wasn't a dead sheep in the stream within 50 yards you were probably alright.
    Aslan




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    the weird thing for me here is that ive always drunk water straight from the stream or loch. after reading this post among others I start to worry and think about filters etc but then I remember that for the last 13 years I have been connected to a private water supply which is in fact just a small loch up the hill a bit, with the only treatment being provided by a wire mesh filter which keeps most of the bits out.

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    Default Ersatz

    Quote Originally Posted by lochmaben View Post
    On a ten day tip three people, how do you manage with drinking water.
    And how much would you need.
    I know some of the lochs are clean but not to drink.
    My bush craft is zero, will have to get some books.

    Top site all the best Alan
    If you drink wine, you will not have to care for water.
    Cheers,
    Dull Knife

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dull Knife View Post
    If you drink wine, you will not have to care for water.
    Cheers,
    Dull Knife
    And I'm sure this will count for at least one of your 5 recommended fruit/ veg a day; well its made from fruit
    Leone_blanco

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    im with gwing on this one
    spent all my life drinking from streams all over the uk upland areas-note upland!!!
    its never done me any harm





    nature is m X-box

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    Quote Originally Posted by andym View Post
    im with gwing on this one
    spent all my life drinking from streams all over the uk upland areas-note upland!!!
    its never done me any harm





    That to me is conclusive, Boiling, puritabs, distilation AND a filter for me from now on
    Leone_blanco

  34. #34
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    Wink Water purifaction

    Quote Originally Posted by lochmaben View Post
    On a ten day tip three people, how do you manage with drinking water.
    And how much would you need.
    I know some of the lochs are clean but not to drink.
    My bush craft is zero, will have to get some books.

    Top site all the best Alan
    A lot depends on how far you intend to paddle each day, the temperture and your chosen foods and your level of fitness. If you're going to take mostly dehydrated food stuffs, your need for water will be that much greater. I reckon on 2Ltr of water each per day, plus water for cooking, etc.. You may not need all of this and you may need more.

    You should carry some water purifacation tablets and a water-bottle with a built-in filter for the same would come in handy for this trip and for the future. Using water purifacation tablets does give the water a slight taste but at least you don't need to boil all you drink.

    Hope this has been some use to you. Have a good trip.

    TGB

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dull Knife View Post
    If you drink wine, you will not have to care for water.
    Cheers,
    Dull Knife
    or as it was in the middle ages and all the way up to the 20thC... small beer... which was a lot healthier than the water, because it had been boiled prior to fermentation

    Cider and wine too.

    so take a load of ale with you and you'll be ok
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    Quote Originally Posted by Don Redondo View Post
    ....so take a load of ale with you and you'll be ok
    .....and when wee beers are cheaper than bottled water in the shops it's no competition!!!
    Chris


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    Default Bier

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Redondo View Post
    or as it was in the middle ages and all the way up to the 20thC... small beer... which was a lot healthier than the water, because it had been boiled prior to fermentation

    Cider and wine too.

    so take a load of ale with you and you'll be ok
    In Berlin we say: "Bier is ooch Stulle!" That means: "Beer is bread, too!"
    So I don't think that it counts to the fluids.
    Greetings,
    Dull Knife

  38. #38
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    Hi All
    This is not expensive and is no effort, much better than risking dodgy tum
    http://www.songofthepaddle.co.uk/for...t=water+filter
    James

  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by lochmaben View Post
    Alastair I had a look at the steripen website it looks like just what we need.
    Let me know how it work out for you.
    Best solution yet.
    thanks Alan.
    Staff tried it out last weekend - all still alive!

    How do you test the effectivenes of these things?

  40. #40
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    Wink Hydrate

    I reckon on 2Ltrs each per day. Lots depends on levels of fitness, mileage, etc. But it's not good to have too little. Take some purifaction tablets, though these give a slight taste. Also a drinking bottle with built in filter.

    Having said that, I often drink straight from streams. But I'm willing to take the risk; no probs so far.

    TGB

  41. #41

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    "Say anything that you like about me except that I drink water." wc fields
    "i dont drink water ,fish make love in it" wc fields

    drink lots of tea in evening and use weak electolyte drink during day from boiled water or from small pump thing such as msr water works or new tiny pumps

  42. #42
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    As an ex-serviceman, I've drunk - and been up to my neck in - water all over the world.

    Four years ago, while training on Dartmoor, I forgot my puri-tabs and didn't have time to boil some water while on the move. I too used to readily take water untreated from moving sources in the uk, but got scared-off by the horror stories. So, during the Dartmoor exercise I filled my hydration bag with pure, clear and cool water from a stream and drank it untreated.

    Two days after, I went to the toilet - and got off it about 3 weeks later!! 3 stone lighter and completely wiped out!

    I saw the medics, got a dose of anti-bi's and started to recover. My "bowel pattern" never returned to normal and I really struggled to return to full fitness. Two years after taking the 'quick-sip' I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, discharged from the service and now have to live with a degenerative disease. The drugs I take daily help and I just need to make sure that each day is well planned to ensure that when my body says "you need a loo" that I can listen to it, I don't have the luxury of 'going' at the next convenient time!

    There is no direct link between U/C and drinking water, and no medical evidence that actually states what the cause is, but I just kinda know where it all began.

    My days of being able to cover 30 miles before sunset with the contents of and average 3 bed semi on my back are now over but I still get to the hills as often as I can. While in the outdoors I always purify any water that I take (even if its out of an outdoor tap or dodgy looking WC sink) and then neutralise it to take the taste away. If I'm camping overnight I'll alway boil any water I use as a minimum.

    As with any advice posted on this site, we can take the bits we like, and leave the bits we don't, so here comes the "and always remember kids......" part!

    If you've been drinking water in the way that nature intended from the same area for years then perhaps your body has learned to deal with it - but be careful when you travel out of that area and encounter bugs with a different accent to the ones at home! But for everyone else I'd strongly recomend you treat it.

    It is a great pity that one of the major contributors to our very existance is being damaged through our lack of understanding, but aside from the big picture - is it really worth taking the risk?
    If god had meant us to swim - he wouldn't have given us the support stroke...

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